Is It Mandatory to 'Root' for Any Sports Teams for Life?

Carlos IglesiaContributor IIIDecember 24, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks defends against Sundiata Gaines #1 of the New Jersey Nets  during their pre season game  at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2011 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Just read a recent article here on BR about this controversial issue:

As a long-time blogger, especially on Miami Heat blogs, I've tried to explain similar views for years to die-hard fans of any team. To no avail, for the most part. I'll give it another shot:

Let's take NBA basketball. And my current "local" team, the Miami Heat. 

Most fans pick a team, for some reason, at a very early age. Perhaps because they grew up in some city. Or went to college here or there. And then, no matter what, they "root" for that same team season after season. 

Even if that team happens to be horrible at times or a top contender at other times, depending on the decade. 

Even if players are traded every season, moving from city to city for money: it's their job. 

Or after we, the fans, move to another city or country, which happens all the time these days.

No. We are supposed to be "loyal" to some team for life and "root" for them regardless.

Much like the self-proclaimed "agnostic" author of that referenced article, I just don't go for it. I like the freedom to follow any team and any sports, from any city and country in the world. And not having to suffer when "my" local team is playing despicable basketball, or when another team from anywhere happens to be playing great.

They like to call them "bandwagons," jumping on or off of them. It's supposed to be a shame if you change your mind and start following other teams. Except for no reason whatsoever.

For instance: The only true "Miami Heat" player from Miami is Udonis Haslem. And he too has a price. He does his job, anywhere in the USA or the world that will benefit his family and his career. Our current heroes, D. Wade and Lebron James are from Chicago and Cleveland, respectively. I don't know where Bosh was born, but he was in Canada for many years, much like Joel Anthony or Magloire. 

Pat Riley coached the Knicks and Lakers for years. Coaches also move around. Their loyalties have a price, too. Ask any Cleveland fan right now how they feel about their Cavaliers and Lebron James.

Also, I choose to follow good teams, with good and rather humble players. I must admit that right now I'm not a huge fan of this "Hollywood as Hell" Heat team, as Joachim Noah adeptly put it. I prefer under-dogs from any city, if they can play good basketball. 

To make a long story short, right now I'm starting to like the new Knicks and Clippers. Intriguing teams. I also really enjoyed Dallas beating Miami last season, as most NBA fans did. Maybe next season I'll "root" for Chicago or the Thunder. We like humble players like Rose or Durant. Let's hope there is no Federal Law against that.